There are many over-the-counter sleep aids, prescriptions, and methods you could use to teach yourself to get better sleep habits. But one place you may not have thought about is controlling your sleep success via your diet choices!
Some Foods Will Help You Sleep
We like to laugh about needing to nap after a Thanksgiving turkey dinner, but there’s some truth behind that kidding around. There actually are foods that help you sleep – and a few that keep you awake, so if you are struggling with a sleep disorder, you will want to consider your food choices thoroughly!
Particular foods create a calming effect on your brain, while others rev it up for much more activity. Turkey is a sleep-aiding food because it includes tryptophan, an amino acid your body uses to produce serotonin, which calms your brain helping you sleep.
Your Brain Needs to Rest
It really is similar to sewing a piece of clothing – you may make a shirt without having a needle, thread, and fabric. Your body demands tryptophan to help it generate neurotransmitters like serotonin and melatonin, which in turn result in a restful sleep.
When you mix tryptophan-laden foods with carbohydrates, it will help the body absorb it so that you sleep better. Regular high-protein diets can keep you awake if they’re not paired with carbs because proteins include tyrosine, which wakes you up!
To leverage your food selections, make an effort to pair proteins and carbs how you want your body to work during the day. Opt for higher protein meals in the morning and afternoon, and eat more carbs at night closer to bedtime.
You can not exclude the tryptophan simply because an all-carb meal will defeat the objective, keeping you awake even more. If you are able to slip some calcium into your evening meal, you will reap even greater rewards, because calcium will help the brain make use of the tryptophan.
Foods that Will Help You Sleep
Foods that are high in tryptophan include beans, poultry, dairy, eggs, hazelnuts, hummus, lentils, various meats, peanuts, rice, soy, sea food, sesame and sunflower seed products, and whole grains. So an ideal evening snack could be whole grain cereal with milk or even oatmeal cookies with milk.
Full meals may include vegetables with meat or chicken, chili and beans, or dinner with cheese. Just keep in mind that when you over-indulge on a meal, it may cause you to not sleep as good – since your digestive tract is going to be working overtime.
It Will Still Take Time to Get to Sleep
When you eat tryptophan, the sleep-inducing effects are not going to occur instantly. It will take about 45 minutes to an hour for you to begin feeling drowsy, so try to eat early in the evening.
Aside from tryptophan, there are more foods you should know of in regards to the way it affects your sleep, like caffeine for example. Caffeine can be found in numerous products – even your over-the-counter cold medicine! It stimulates your nervous system, keeping you awake – even though you don’t wish to be.
A Sleep Diary Can Help
Maintain a food journal to see the way your nighttime meals affect your sleep. If you find that specific foods keep you up in the evening, try to move those to the earlier menus of your day and preserve the evening for foods which are “sleep-friendly.”